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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Úlfr Uggason (ÚlfrU)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Edith Marold;

Húsdrápa (Húsdr) - 12

Skj info: Ulfr Uggason, Islandsk digter, o. 1000. (AI, 136-9, BI, 128-30).

Skj poems:
1. Húsdrápa
2. Lausavísa

The skald Úlfr Uggason (ÚlfrU) lived around the year 1000 in Western Iceland. Little is known about his life. According to Ldn (S 76, H 64, ÍF 1, 111) he was married to Járngerðr, the daughter of Þórarinn Grímkelsson. Njáls saga (ch. 60, ÍF 12, 152) mentions his losing a lawsuit against Ásgrímr Elliða-Grímsson. The episode told in Njáls saga (ch. 102, ÍF 12, 261-4) about Úlfr refusing a request by Þorvaldr veili ‘the Miserable’ to use force against the missionary Þangbrandr, portrays him as a cautious man. That request and Úlfr’s dismissal of it are recounted there in two lausavísur (Þveil LvV, ÚlfrU LvV; see also Kristni saga ch. 9, ÍF 15, 2, 20-1). According to Laxdœla saga (ch. 29, ÍF 5, 79-80), he must have been on good terms with Óláfr pái ‘Peacock’ and his family, for whom he composed Húsdrápa ‘House-drápa’ (c. 980), a poem celebrating the myths depicted in images within their hall at Hjarðarholt.

my abbr

Húsdrápa — ÚlfrU HúsdrIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Úlfr Uggason, Húsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 402.

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Skj: Ulfr Uggason: 1. Húsdrápa, 983 (AI, 136-8, BI, 128-30); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10

SkP info: III, 413

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — ÚlfrU Húsdr 4III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Úlfr Uggason, Húsdrápa 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 413.

En stirðþinull starði
storðar leggs fyr borði
fróns á folka reyni
fránleitr ok blés eitri.

En {fránleitr stirðþinull storðar} starði á {reyni {folka {leggs fróns}}} fyr borði ok blés eitri.

And {the flashing-eyed stiff cord of the earth} [= Miðgarðsormr] stared at {the tester {of the peoples {of the bone of the earth}}} [ROCK > GIANTS > = Þórr] below the ship’s side and blew poison.

Mss: R(37r), R(33v), Tˣ(34v), Tˣ(38v), W(76), U(32r), A(10v), A(13r), C(4v), C(6v) (SnE); 2368ˣ(113) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] En: ‘[…]’ R(33v);    stirð‑: ‘[…]’ R(33v), stríð‑ Tˣ(34v), Tˣ(38v), ‘stir‑’ A(10v), A(13r);    ‑þinull starði: ‘[…]þi’ R(33v), ‘‑malogr st[…]’ U    [2] storðar: ‘st[…]þar’ R(33v);    leggs: so W, U, legs R(37r), R(33v), Tˣ(34v), Tˣ(38v), mens A(10v), A(13r), leygs C(4v), C(6v);    fyr: ‘[…]’ R(33v);    borði: ‘[…]’ R(33v), ‘borþ[…]’ U    [3] fróns á: ‘[…]ns a’ R(33v), forns á Tˣ(38v), ‘[…]’ U, ‘frans a’ C(4v)    [4] frán‑: fram‑ 2368ˣ

Editions: Skj: Ulfr Uggason, 1. Húsdrápa 5: AI, 137, BI, 129, Skald I, 71; SnE 1848-87, I, 412-15, 474-7, II, 325, 436, 585, 593, III, 74-5, 98, SnE 1931, 147, 168, SnE 1998, I, 65, 86-7; LaufE 1979, 371.

Context: The helmingr is cited in Skm (SnE) and LaufE among stanzas illustrating kennings for ‘man’ and again in Skm exemplifying a heiti for ‘land’ (here, frón).

Notes: [All]: A closely matching helmingr is found in Bragi Þórr 4, which even uses the same verb, starði ‘stared’. The kennings are also very similar: Þórr is called haussprengir Hrungnis ‘skull-splitter of Hrungnir <giant>’ (Bragi Þórr 4/3) and the World Serpent hringr brautar borðróins barða ‘ring of the road of the side-rowed ship [SEA > = Miðgarðsormr]’ (Bragi Þórr 4/1-2). — [4] fránleitr ‘flashing-eyed’: The word fránn ‘flashing, gleaming’ is an adj. used especially in connection with serpents (Marold 1998a, 11-13).

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